Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Train them in the way they should go...

As a mom who loves the Lord, I also want my children to grow up in the knowledge and grace of him, as well.
I am not a trained child-hood expert, rearing,bible study leading professional, so by trial and error, I have thought of a few different ways to make learning about Jesus exciting! And why shouldn't it be? He healed the sick, raised the dead and best of all gave us the free gift of * eternal life if we believe on Him! I'm so excited, just from writing that sentence!

Many of us relate church and Jesus to boring rituals, sitting for too long and being jabbed in the ribs by mother if we start to doze off...Let's show our kids just how powerful God is, by making His word more understandable to little ears.
 Aside from dinner time, family devotions, I try to incorporate Jesus into all we do. Even craft time!

As I wracked my brain, trying to figure out how best my kids would learn the Bible and enjoy it; I came up with this idea.  I thought I would share it with you. And I know some of you probably allready have done this, but forgive me, I'm a slow learner :)

Bible History Books:

I say 'History' because the words 'bible story', don't sound factual to me! Gods word is our History! Be glad about that with your kids.

We created a History book about 'Noah's Ark.' We read the story together, then each of us set out to color a picture of the story. It was just me and 2 of our girls working on this, so I got assigned with a few more pages, because they are little and it takes a bit longer for them to complete one of their masterpieces! So, ignore my child like drawings! Haha! Here's how the finished product turned out! The girls are so proud of it and read it over and over again!

This last page breelia added as an extra! But, I thought it drove home a good point! Gotta love that child like faith:)  

*Romans 3:23 " For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ..."

I have more bible time crafts and idea's I will share with you all occasionally, so stay tuned for more easy idea's that you can do with your kiddo's!

Share with me your idea's! I would love to learn what your family does to build up little Soldiers for Christ! And if you are just starting out, Don't worry! God can use whatever we give! Your kid's are never too young ( or old) to learn about Jesus.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Perfectionist...I am NOT.

For those of you who have stopped by unannounced ( It's okay - I still love you!) you can find my house in 1 of 3 states;
1. Disaster.
3.Messy, but trying to get clean!

With 4 kid's under 1000 square feet, messes are just going to happen! I have tried to learn a few tricks (still learning!) and although I am farrrr from an organizational guru, or anyone for that matter that should be even talking about this, I know I always appreciate when I learn new things that help our family function, so I thought I would share what I have implemented in our house.

My dear friend, Tara ( Dubbed 'Queen Organization' by me!) has great tips at her blog www.coleplace.blogspot.com under tidie whities. I have stolen a few tricks of the trade from her as well! Hey! Who says you can't teach an unhouse broke, messy old dog new tricks?

Cupboards: Not enough cupboards for how much I need to cram into them!

In my pantry I found stacking my cans for cooking/ veggies/ fruit was getting me no where, as our pantry was deep, but not wide. I was always re-buying things that I still had, hidden behind the can of tomato soup no one ever wants to eat! So, at a garage sale, I picked up a few lazy suzannes( I feel bad calling her that! :) and VOILA! I can stack a couple high, and spin to see what we have on the shelf! I would recommend grabbing a few lazy's. I also have used them in our cabinet that keeps our medicines, vitamins and spices! Makes finding things much, much easier!

Next, I too, enjoy clear plastic storage containers, labeled, so my kids can see what snacks are available. I also have an old fruit basket, I set boxes and such things that I haven't got any storage containers left for, in the basket, that way, in the deep pantry, I can reach in and slide out the bin and see whats back there!
 You can see, I use 'Hello My Name Is..." labels. My sister in law, Abigale gave me that idea and I LOVE IT! It's very easy to just slap another sticker over top of the old ones when changing out snacks, plus they are about .97 cents at walmart, much cheaper than any other label you can find!
 this is the fruit basket, pulled out, that you can see in the above picture, to the right.

 Our hallway acts as a storage space, with a small shelf that stores some of  the kid's fun stuff. Mr & Mrs. Potato head neatly stashed in a clear container, nail polishes and play dough! Since our bathroom has no linen closet, a basket of pull ups and some t.p dawn the bottom shelf!
The girls bedroom is very, very small and with three of them sharing  a room, we lack space and organization! These little pink tote store different play.  I was sO pumped to find this 'horsie bin' at Fleet Farm last Christmas, to pile all their barbie horses in!

 I label ( and attempt ) a drawing on the tote. That way if they are unable to read, they can see by the picture, what goes in the tote. This works great and provides 'No excuse's' for the lazy gal, who would love to claim," I didn't know dress up and my lil' ponies didn't go in the same spot!"

 If you have a sticker with what is in the box, I would recommend that as well- Dollar Tree has just about any sticker for any character known to man ( and some that are not! Gotta love Dollar Tree!)
 The top box is all their small Disney Princesses, and even tho it is not labeled this, they know because of the sticker :)
 Hobby Lobby, will be the death of me, but I could not resist these HOT PINK trunks on clearance! They work great for storing the girls' fake food and dishes and grocery store stuff!

It's SO much more fun to play when the toys are right there, and you don't have to dig for hours to find all the pieces! Makes clean up so simple too. If ( IF! I mean, it always is!!) the room get's really bad, being that sometimes all 3 girls take a different tote out, I set the totes out on the floor, open the lids and they run around, dropping toys into whichever tote that toy belongs too! Has cut cleaning room time from about an hour to maybe ten minutes! Hope you can use some of these tips and I would LOVE to hear your tips as well!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Don't Feel Pretty Today...

Do you ever have one of those days? You know, the one where you stay in your yoga stretchy pants, a frumpy sweater with snot smears from your baby dried on it and some drops of lunch splattered along the sleeve? When your eyebrows look like a leaf from some wild amazon jungle & your armpits are starting to look like a CHIA pet experiment gone wrong? When you go to shave your legs and a ladies razor won't do the job, but maybe a machete or hacksaw? When the make up hasn't left its case and your face is proof that you can make small children frightened without it? Yeah, one of those days...

I have to admit, I was having one of those days...

I hate that!

I have been home bound for 4 days with a very sick nine month old. I love the time with my kid's and thank God no one else is sick, but I think we all had a touch of cabin fever.

You see every time I get dressed, I get puked on. After awhile you learn, no nice clothes! Every time I put the baby down, she cries...no nice hair or make up! And every time I want to pout and say ' Poor! Poor! Pitiful me!' my children take up that attitude as well, and then things get really ugly!

What made me the ugliest today...easy...my attitude! I tried to stay thankful and grateful, but some times a girl can break! 

Tonight as I tucked the babies in, after a long, rough day, my three year old who has been a source of aggravation today, climbed on my lap, hugged and kissed me and said, " Momma, I love you. And I will be better tomorrow."


I promised I would be, too.

Kid's have a way of revealing our ugliest deciever. Our hearts.

So, beyond the messy hair and deodorant- less pits, the unbrushed teeth and the breath that resembled that of a basset hounds, I realized the worst part of me was my attitude and my heart. I apologized and made things right. I prayed and asked God for a new perspective. I am thankful his word says, 'His mercies are new every morning!'

So, tomorrow, whether or not I get all dolled up, I will be beautiful, it just may be from the INSIDE out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just a Simple Plan...

"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape!" A saying that pops into my mind as I get 'bent out of shape'.

Having kids has taught me many, many things. Like, clothes right side in-way overrated! Eating when your food is hot! Who needs it! Dried snot on your sleeve is actually a 'mom accessories!' Who knew all these things AND more could be 'socially' acceptable in my mom mind! 

One of the best things having kids has taught me, is roll with the punches! Punches in the feel of 3:30 a.m. wake up calls, " Mom! I need you to rub my back!" Wish I could get a free massage at 3:30 a.m.! And big, poopy  blow out diapers, right as you leave the house! Ah, a Simple plan is a distant memory!

When your kids watch you go through the ups & downs of life, and NOT get bent out of shape and still *'rejoice in the Lord always' ( 'and again, I say rejoice!' Do you think there was a reason it was repeated?) It will impact how they handle life's struggles. Not just the bumps in the roads or the crying over spilled milk, but the hard stuff; death, lies and failures.

I always put in the back of my mind, whatever I have planned for the day, it is very possible it could change!
 Because it happens...almost everyday.

Laundry was suppose to get done - but a friend you haven't seen stops over and you have a great time chatting! An afternoon planned for housekeeping, gets interrupted by a cuddly 3 year old, with her favorite book, and you get a few precious moments together. A gourmet meal ( this includes anything NOT Hamburger Helper!!)  gets burnt and a family fun night, eating Pizza Hut on the living room floor, makes memories that are locked in the deepest part of your heart.

So, next time plans get changed, stop & think, " Ok! Cool! I can do this! How can you use me, Lord, in this new plan?" I admit, as a woman this can be really, really ( did I mention, ReAlLy?!!!) hard to do, but next time I'm hit with an unplanned situation, I'm gonna sit back, relax and go with it!

* Philippians 4:4 " Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." 

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a mans heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails."

Psalms 20:4 " May the Lord give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What makes my house a home...

This week has been trying for me in some sense of the words...
You see, I come equipped ( and you probably do too) with a little thing called a 'discontentment' factor. I know! I know! Shameful to think a christian woman who really does pursue Christ & want to be more like him, being something as sinful as discontent! Bare with me, here...

Our house is TINY ( we are talking 2 bedrooms for 6 people! And if you count the 2 cats and 1 dog that think they are human, well, that's 9!!) So, my awesome husband and I are adding on. I love this idea, but would rather build. Every time I see one of my friends NeW houses, I have to wipe the drool that has inevitably trickled down my chin, as I stand in awe, at a finished house ( TRIMMED UP & EVERYTHING!) where children don't have to be triple stacked and cupboards are organized because, well, they have more than 5! 

Living in such a teeny, tiny house has made me resent it more than anything. I get angry that the closets can't fit all our clothes and the bathroom has no linen closet and our entry room consist of a flight of stairs straight down to the basement, so NO room for coats and shoes! I get frustrated when my husband doesn't understand that a woman's house is her HOME & she puts alot of energy and work into it, and that's hard to do when the kids have to play in the living room for space, because the bedroom has 3 beds in it, so I am forever cleaning up toys out of the living room and kitchen! 

Mainly, I get frustrated because deeply rooted in my heart is an 'I deserve better' attitude that is creeping out and making me resent my precious home.

God called me out on that one,when he poked at my heart, as I begrudgingly thought about a great idea for us to build and my sensible husband hasn't jumped for joy, telling me " Best Idea EVER!" and started drawing up plans for a house that at least had a laundry room on the main floor, not tucked down in the basement, where cobwebs and angry spiders lurk!

And let me share, I am so thankful He did poke at my heart.

In my quiet anger about the less than brand new vehicale I drive and the 'cramped- for -space house fit' I was having, I felt God challenging me to embrace what He has so graciously blessed me with.

So, I am thankful for the hallway that displays my children's art work and painted birdhouses and noodle necklaces. I am thankful that even though we have 6 and our kitchen table only fits 4, so we drag a chair to dinner every time we eat, that we sit and eat as a family, pray and laugh together, and talk about our Lord. I am thankful that the smears from the dogs nose on the sliding glass door, begging to come in and the hand prints from a little crawling baby, that sits on the other side of the door, pounding away at the dog, are there. I am thankful that instead of bar stools under our island/counter we have three big ponies that the girls ride around the house. I am thankful that the corners of our walls are chipped up, from long winters when I let them bring in their bikes and ride around the house and they take a corner too quick!
I am thankful for the closet door, that doubles as a growth chart and how I have watched them grow over the last 3 years at this house, and how it breaks my heart at the same time, to know, someday they'll be grown...

I am so thankful for everything, but so thankful when I trick myself into thinking how little I have, God opens my eyes ( and mostly my heart) and reminds me of just how MUCH I have been blessed...

Be thankful, too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Well, My Son.....

I often find my self comparing my kids. Sometimes at how much better they are than other kid's and sometimes at how much I wish they could be as good as other kids.
I know that is wrong, I'm not stupid. But, I think as parents we have these great expectations sometimes that even our kids can't meet and we lose sight of the important things when they fail at our measuring stick.

As I read in Luke Chapter 1 the other day, and marveled at the story of John and his coming about,   I thought , " Wow! How Cool!" 

How cool would it be to have an angel show up, when you are 'well in years'  & having a barren wife( verse7)
and tell you, basically, You're Kids gonna be the best kid on the block!

I know when I was pregnant an angel never appeared to me saying all the great things that good ol' Gabe told Old Man, Zacky. No one promised me a 'child that would bring joy & delight' (vs.14) and that ' MANY ( not a few family & friends....but MANY!) 'Would rejoice over his birth', and that he would be 'Great in the sight of the Lord'. The kicker for me was, ' He will never take wine or fermented drink.'(vs.15) Well, that little bit of info would save alot of parents ALOT of worrying throughout the teenage years! Man, if at least 1 in 10 babies came with that extra PLUS, how great would that be?! 

The Chapter goes on to say He will be filed with the Holy Spirit even from birth! And he will turn many hearts of the people of Israel back to the Lord, and he will go before the Lord to change hearts!

Wow...If I was Sweet old Elizabeth, I would have kicked up my heals and maybe not have cared so much if I was going to badly screw up my kid, well, because he came with a PROMISE!

The part that got me was when Zechariah questioned Gabriel, " How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." ( vs. 18)

First off, lets break this down:
A: Way to go, Zack, for NOT saying your wife was an OLD lady, but taking the gentle route 'well in years' and not re hashing the whole 'barren' thing,which we know she felt was a disgrace (vs.25)
B: You can never judge someone for not having kids, or only a few. It may not be a 'selfish' decision, it may be the path God has allowed in their life, for whatever reason.
C: Gabriel didn't like that Zacky boy doubted what he was telling him and caused Zechariah to be mute          ( without speech) until Johns birth, because AN ANGEL OF THE LORD APPEARED TO YOU - SENT FROM GOD - WITH THIS GOOD NEWS - AND YOU STILL QUESTION IF I'M LEGIT? Boy- that was some stupid stuff comin' outta your mouth - shut up for, let's say...9 months!(vs.19-20)
D: I'm Zack....

You see, the thing is, our kids are a joy & delight. God can use them in amazing ways we can't even imagine, he can use them to bring many to his saving grace and love and yet we still question, " Are you for real God? You can't possibly use my lil' Junior who wets the bed every night and still sucks his thumb and is missing his front tooth....really Lord? Maybe you should check the neighbors kid's, they are really good Christians and I'm pretty sure their little Sally got baptized last month..."

Oh, be amazed Parent's...for God can & will use our children, despite our downfall's and in spite of how much we love them and believe in them and teach them about our loving master...

Thankfully, God hasn't seen fit to press the 'MUTE' button on my yapper for all the doubting I do. So, let the words of my mouth be pleasing to you, O' Lord. Let the Love for my children believe all things and hope all things, because with You, all things ( not some or just a few) are possible.

Now, go hug your kid and tell them, In Christ Alone, they can be world changers :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


HA! Gotcha!
World's easiest parenting?!?
No such thing!

I am often taken back at just how BIG of a failure at parenting I am. Don't feel sorry for me. It's truth. I put others, myself and many things that are time wasters before my kids. Why? Well, they adapt to what I do and they are fine. For now.

God has really impressed on my heart what 'good' parenting is, lately. I want that. I don't want to HOPE my kids make it out alive and leave here only in the 'Scratch & Dent' box. I want them leaving here fully clothed in the armour of God, to be able to fend off the fiery darts of the devil and stand strong against the world.Too be a light, not a glow worm!

I would challenge you to take a look at whats going on in your house. ChAoS? Frustrations.ANGER! Disobedience? No RESPECT?! ...no love?
Our homes will occasionally have these things, because, well, let's face it...we are all sinners! But, if this is an everyday, every hour, every minute occurrence, maybe what you're doing isn't quite working :(

Just my last two trips to the store I have seen this first hand. Walking down the aisle and mothers just snapping at their kids for simple questions, like, " Can we get this cereal?"

Really? A Holy war being raged over this?

The old Golden rule still applies, "Treat others...." You know the rest.

I am also amazed at the level of control children are given.

You don't want to share? Ok.
You don't want to use the potty? That's fine.
You don't want to eat you dinner? Sure.
Chocolate for breakfast? Sounds fair.
Hitting mommy? Not nice, but I'm a doormat, go ahead.
Jumping on the furniture?Climbing the counters? Breaking our decorations? Coloring on the walls? Smashing your toys into your sisters head? Runnnnnning our house with an iron fist?

Not OK! No! No! And NO!

Don't forget when God blessed you with that baby, YOU WHERE THE PARENT! He gives you power to be that parent. Enjoy every second of it, not hate the second you hear their little feet hit the floor in the morning and you know you're in for another beating!

Everyday with your children will present new challenges, it's how you handle them and help your child grow. You don't let them take the reins and run, you guide with loving hands and gentle hearts. Don't let this time be wasted on letting them call the shots, use this time to help them grow up to be amazing little people that God can use!

Great book rescourses:

"Dare to Discipline" Dr. James Dobson
"Shepherding a Child's Heart" Tedd Tripp
"Raising Godly Children in an ungodly world." Ken & Steve Ham
Also, online or the radio : "Family Life Today" & "Focus on the Family".

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Skinny Jeans...I hate you.

Well, I did it! At 30 years old, I submitted to the fashion gods and broke down and bought the cheapest pair of skinny jeans I could find ( $5 @ Wal - mart!)
I don't know if I should be bragging about that, being that I am, like I said, 30...my hips have been stretched from 5 pregnancies and...ok, ok..so, basically I should just splurge and go get a back tatoo that says, " Big Momma runs this trailer park!"

You may wonder why I fear these pants of deception and fill with rage at thier sight. Don't get me wrong, I used to ROCK the skinny jeans ( when I was 13 and they actually weren't in style...whole 'nother story!) First off, the name...SkInNy? I checked my body over and over and honey child, they're ain't alot of skinny left! Plus, I hate crap that SCREAMS, "HEY! You're SKINNY, but NOT quite SKINNY enough! BUY us SKINNY jeans and be SO SKINNY, you'll look like you SPRAY PAINTED these bad boys on!"

I didn't tell my husband, (well...I didn't want him to fall off the couch laughing and break an arm...I might need those arms to save my from a life and death situation once I squeezed those skinny jeans ON!) and I snuck into the bathroom.

It was alot like labor and delivery...pushing, pulling, heavy breathing, sweating, swearing and screams of pain & that was just getting them on...Jaws of life had to come and get them off of me ;)

But, I was determined...I had recently bought a cute pair of boots that would look SO cute with a pair of skinny jeans on! So, no matter how many veins I would pop in my neck, or how many butt cramps I would get, those jeans and I would wrestle it out till I was crowned VICTOR!

Does victory mean when you finally get them over your hips and barely ( and believe me when I say...BARELY!) zipped, almost buttoned and almost pass out from lack of oxegyn flowing to your 'lower level' on, that you have conquered the skinny jeans? Oh my friend, it does...and I know, because I almost seen the light :)

I would like to blame the skinny Jeans co. whom shall remain nameless, because they really should be called, " Leg squeezing, butt cruncher pants!" and I would also like to thank the herniated belly button my chubby baby left behind as a souvenior of her 9 month stay ( KIDS! Never cleaning up after themselves!) OR well, maybe I'm just retaining water tonight ( like the Biron dam!) I would hate to think, maybe my motherly hips and my winter layers ( a.k.a 'extra pounds') had anything to do with it!

I have to say, I like my hips. Reminds me of the times I felt closest to my husband, as he held all 5 of our baby girls and tears filled his eyes, and he would kiss me and tell me what a great job I did and how he loved me so much. And how everyone of them coming into the world was such an amazing and different expierence, so much better than trying to expierence life from a pair of cute jeans.

All is well in my heart. I actually do know, I will fit into those jeans...someday. And it wont be by starving myself and beating myself up, letting satan lie to me that I'm just NOT skinny enough. It will come from wanting to be a healthy mom for my baby girls and my amazing husband ( who I know is gonna LOVE them! Whit! Whew! Make us some more babies in them skinny jeans;).

What are you trying to squeeze into, taht makes you uncomfortable or feel less beautiful. Know this, to Jesus, there is none more perfect or beautiful than you.


Good News! In this process my belly button hernia is gone! Once I buttoned those pants, it launched back to my spine! That's ok, right?!?

God bless!